Behind the Scenes: Laying Out a Book
The things you learn when you have to put a book together. Chains of the Sciell is coming out May 26. To start all the heavy pre-publishing buzz and make it available for preorder, I’d like the book to be done by March.
This’ll be the second time I’m putting together a print book in InDesign. I’ve laid out a number of ebooks.
When creating The Sciell (Book 1), I was teaching myself InDesign while teaching myself how to put a book together. For those who use any Adobe product, you know how frustrating it can be to just go in there and try to figure things out. I got so annoyed. In the end, I went to AbodeTV and watched basic tutorials on InDesign.
To learn about print book layout, I picked a few titles off my shelf that are the size I want and examined them–closely. The Sciell is trade paperback 8.5 x 5.5. Chains of the Sciell will be the same.
Some fun things I learned:
- Most books have cream colored pages. The only books I own that have white pages are textbooks.
- Print books always start page 1 on the right side.
- New chapters start on the right side. They’re rarely on the back of the previous page.
- In most books, the chapter pages aren’t numbered.
- Paragraphs are justified.
- Getting the margins right will make you want to cry or throw something.
Now, I need to add the story, edit the chapter titles and add a sneak peak into Book 3. To make things easier, I’ll be creating the ebook at the same time. For the ebook, each chapter needs to be a separate document or else there won’t be any page breaks when the document is converted.
In InDesign, an ebook is a bunch of documents collected into one Book. I’m sure there’s a way to have everything in one document and have it look right when you covert it. I haven’t figured that out.
This way works for me. It makes creating new ebooks easier. The Copyright, Other Titles, and About the Author pages stay the same, mostly. It would be a pain to redo them for every book.